Archive for September, 2004

Sid Sackson's legacy

Thursday, September 16th, 2004

I was just playing a little online Acquire (a friend of mine hacked it up, and it’s still aggressively beta so be gentle) and did a quick search to see if I remembered, back at Origins, to post about the Face 2 Face Games folks and their line of reprints of the work of Acquire designer Sid Sackson. It turns out I didn’t. At the time they were already having great success with their version of Kohle, Kies & Knete, retitled I’m the Boss, and were previewing the card game Sleuth; their third “Sackson Signature” game was previewed at Gen Con and will be hitting the channel soon.

At Origins I spoke to Face2Face’s Lawrence Whalen about the Sackson line – he told me they were working closely with Sackson’s family (and that the I’m the Boss character portraits were in fact of extended Sackson family members). Sackson’s immense collection of games, split up and sold at auction after Sackson’s death in 2002, apparently contained a number of prototypes of Sackson originals – many of them unpublished. When I talked to them, Face2Face was starting to work with the family to track these prototypes down, possibly develop them, and bring them to market. Naturally, we wish them all the best with that project. Their next planned Sackson reprint is Metropolis, due sometime next year.

As one of our commenters pointed out previously, it’s sad when a collection goes to the four winds at the end of someone’s life, but at least it’s good for the collector to know that things are going to people who know and love them. Here’s hoping that Sid Sackson’s legacy gets a better end than it’s gotten so far – better for the family as well as for gamers everywhere.

Early TSR artist ill, auctioning game collection

Wednesday, September 15th, 2004

Many in the industry have been saddened to learn that David C. Sutherland III, one of the first well-known TSR artists, has a terminal illness. An auction of Sutherland’s gaming collection is currently being held on Ebay to help pay for his medical bills and supplement his estate for his remaining family. From the original Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide to the incredible castle map in the original Ravenloft module, and a fair amount of game development besides, many gamers are sure to be familiar and fond of Sutherland’s works. Have a look at the auction and see some of the gaming treasures you have a chance to bid on, and help the Sutherland family out at the same time.

Stealing an expansion

Wednesday, September 15th, 2004

The new expansion for MLB SportsClix hits the streets today, according to the Wiz Kids press release below. Extra Bases brings another 104 figures to the popular miniatures game, including “hot rookies,” which sounds a bit pornographic. What’ll be the next set’s title? Extra Innings?

Saint Petersburg wins Deutscher Spiele Preis

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004

The comparatively open-ballot, gamer-ish answer to the juried Spiel des Jahres award has announced Michael Tummelhofer’s card-ish market board game Saint Petersburg as its top vote-getter for the year. Here’s the whole list of honorees.

OgreCave reviews: Hero Force, Disaster, & Snipe Hunt

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004

We’re going back to our Tuesday-Thursday pattern of review updates, starting with a batch of three fun little games. First, Demian gives us his take on two 1PG titles from Deep7, namely Hero Force: Super Adventure and Disaster! Survival Adventure: Third Edition. Then Merwin points out a lesser-known company, Pegamoose Games, and its new game, Snipe Hunt.

OgreCave review: The Dragonfiend Pact

Saturday, September 11th, 2004

A new d20 product has entered our review library, compliments of Matthew. This time, it’s Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact from Goodman Games. Will the $2 module pull in new players and live up to the hype? Find out inside.

Twonky's back and you're gonna be in trouble, hey na hey na

Saturday, September 11th, 2004

Rumors persist that Avalon Hill will be giving RoboRally its first stateside printing in many years in the first half of ’05 – here is either a or some (other) obsessed fan’s hour’s-worth of Photoshop labor. As much as I love the game, it really needs a new edition, not just a reprint. Some things in there need improving. There is also allegedly an unspecified Charlie Catino wargame design planned for next year, a sci-fi thing called (or codenamed) “Dragon Mount,” which sounds like it will go nicely with .

Magic: the Gathering Worlds – A First Timers Perspective

Thursday, September 9th, 2004

For the first time in six years, the Magic: the Gathering World Championships was held in the continental United States. The 11th Annual Magic: the Gathering Worlds was held at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. As it was so tantalizingly close to us Cave Dwellers, we couldn’t possibly resist checking it out. It turns out there was plenty to see.

*Hats not included

Wednesday, September 8th, 2004

Uberplay has posted commercials for some of their board games. Next up, the Happy Meals of Catan?

Magic Worlds 04: yeah, we went

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

I don’t want to sound too complain-y here; the event was professionally run, gorgeously produced, and left in the dust the nearest organized-play program behind it (WizKids, I’m looking at you). That said, for the first world championship held in the States since what I interpret as the game’s rennaissance in this country, it was underattended and… there just wasn’t much for people like me to do. I mean, my DCI judge friend gave me his one-free-draft coupon, but as a lapsed player with no knowledge of the current card set, all I would do in a draft is lose and piss seven people off. I spent my time on Saturday just hanging out with other people in my shoes: players from years back, been out of the game for a long while, not up for tournament play.

Where was the section where new players could get an introduction to the game from an experienced volunteer? Where was the “nickel tour of the current Type 2 environment” seminar? Where was the “game library” section where you could borrow, I dunno, some Spanish-language 5th Edition starters and play Two-Headed Giant with them? [And where, for the love of Mr. Suitcase, was the preview of Unhinged?]

Casual play is the elephant in Magic‘s living room. Still. Casual events like these, well-publicized ahead of time, could have been a watershed event for all that dark matter in M:tG’s market. However, I will grant that Wizards’ event staff is in the business of running tournaments, not conventions. That part they have down pretty well; it was a trip and a half to witness the setup for the finals first-hand, earpieces and all. (Not that the earpieces really work. They’re there so you can sit in the audience and listen to commentary the players shouldn’t hear… which is mostly, again, keyed on intimate knowledge of the current card set… and you can only see the cards on monitors anyway… and the earpieces fed back a lot… on the whole I began to wish I were watching the webcast at home. But it was still neat.)

It’s a good time to be a bean farmer…

Saturday, September 4th, 2004

Once again, Rio Grande Games has unleashed a new newsletter upon the world. As always, there are quite a few interesting new German titles on the way, but the highlight appears to be more information on a pair of new expansions for Bohnanza, probably the best bean-farming card game ever. Bohnaparte adds a military conquest angle to the game, while High Bohn Plus adds buildings for sale, new point-scoring opportunities and a pair of new bean types. Of course, if beans aren’t your thing, there are some other titles to look forward to, including Goldbräu, a board game dealing with the economics of breweries and beer gardens, and a mysterious new stand-alone Carcassonne variation.

Finally, a coherent explanation of the war on Iraq

Friday, September 3rd, 2004

Just look at Rummy’s face. Clearly he didn’t make his save.

Phythyon resigns from GAMA

Thursday, September 2nd, 2004

So while ICv2 seems to be trying to find some closure with the multiple GAMA Board of Directors interviews (the first part has links to the other three), this new development was posted:

GAMA announces today that Public and Member Relations Director John Phythyon has left the company. Mr. Phythyon has elected to make a career change. In his letter of resignation to the board of directors, he stated, “I just feel this is the right time for me to explore other career opportunities.”

I might’ve decided to bail out after all the craziness too.

Must be championship season

Wednesday, September 1st, 2004

WizKids has announced the results of the 2004 World Championships of Mage Knight and MechWarrior (see the press release below). Funny how this is being announced on the same day that WotC‘s 11th Annual Magic: The Gathering World Championship kicks off out here in San Francisco. A couple of OgreCave staff are headed over there to check out the scene, by the way, and we’ll have some sort of report back from them a bit later.